Last week, I made one of those freak miscalculations that left me stranded in Leeds Station fairly early in the morning with nothing to do.
My train left at 10am, so I had an hour to wander around and explore the parts of the city south of the River Aire around Holbeck.
Breakfast seemed like a good idea, and a touch of twittering later, I was heading towards The Engine House Cafe.
Twitter is a very strange thing, and I’ve fallen for it completely – there’s a world of people out there who can answer simple questions like ‘Breakfast. Near Leeds Central. Where? GO!’ within seconds. It astonishes me that such generous and well-informed advice can come hurtling through the interwebs, straight to my phone, with such ease and fluency. To those who say they don’t get twitter, well, your loss.
It seems that there’s a lot of people in Leeds who are passionate about both twitter and a decent breakfast. It would seem that if you’ve got an hour to spare within a ten minute radius of the station, you’ll breakfast like a king.
Somebody had commented earlier that a full English breakfast “requires proper atmos for full enjoyment. Smoking crack in a clean loo just isn’t the same” *.
Apart from it being a great line, there’s a lot of truth truth in it, so I was a little nervous about choosing The Engine House from the dozen or so recommendations I’d managed to gather.
The Engine House Cafe is part of the Round Foundry development, just off Water Lane and right in the middle of Leeds’ booming creative and media area. It’s in the shadow of the equally loved and hated Bridgewater Place, or The Dalek to the locals, and just round the corner from the Cross Keys and Midnight Bell.
There’s the stripped back to the brick aesthetic you’d expect in a mill conversion like this, and it gives the cafe an open and relaxed feel. It was quiet, just me, a paper and another table of businessmen, but it was still early and plenty of people dropped in for takeaway sandwiches and coffee.
Full English breakfast, then. Seemed rude not to, really.
So, The Engine House is no greasy spoon, nor does it try to be, but it excels in other ways. Offering a proper breakfast menu and very good coffee is an obvious place to start.
My food was great – everything you’d expect, complete with a thick slice of black pudding, a good sausage and bacon crisped just slightly too much, which is of course, how it should be. That garnish of parsley was unnecessary, but at least it was Italian flat-leaf, and it shows that presentation is important to the cook, which in turn gives a big hint that his food is likely to be good, which it most definitely is.
£6.60, with an Americano.
The Engine House is open for lunch, and has a strong reputation for it’s evening menu. It’s worth another visit, I’d think.
2 Foundry Square
0113 391 2980
*If you’re looking for examples of other such nuggets, @_jonb is a good place to start.